ICT Learning at BNWPS

There are many minds at Brunswick North West that are forever thinking of new and exciting ways to engage students in learning. Particularly in ways that span across many learning areas. Early in the year, there was a task set to find new ways to engage our learners in the Digital Curriculum. We have been laboriously pouring over the many options out there for coding. Weeding out the gimmicks and thinking hard about what will benefit our students’ learning. This week has seen many of the item's role in and teachers are beginning to unpack them and delve into the virtual world of coding. 


Coding is an important skill to learn and is an important part of being fluent in today’s society. According to the Foundation for Young Australians report this year, over 50% of Australian workers will need to be able to use, configure or build digital systems in the next 2-3 years, let alone when your child will be entering the workforce. 


It is not a new skill, however, in 1967 Lego was developed to teach children how to move around an equilateral triangle called a turtle. Today, there are many options to learn to code; from simple apps like Cargo-Bot; to block based programming, “drag and drop” like Scratch; to text-based learning languages like Python. 


As part of our Arts Festival and Topic this term, the 3/4 students will be taking on their own projects based on coding with the theme of board games. They will be using the application Scratch to explore the world of coding, and everything that comes with it. 


As part of our ICT Policy at school, our intention is to create collaborative teams of students creating new things. Where plausible, we operate under a Driver/ Navigator system where there are at least two people in a group, one person drives (creates code) while the other person coaches, thinks, problem solves and debugs giving their alternate view on the problems that arise. Two brains are always better than one. 


As I eluded earlier, coding ties in with other areas of the curriculum and in particular, maths. In maths we need to understand the problem in front of us, we need to decipher and think through algorithms. We need to think critically and analyse errors then problem solve when we make errors. When we are coding these are all skills we develop. Don’t show your children this, but these skills are often learned without them realising it. The skills that are developed in coding are transferable into a multitude of different learning areas across the curriculum. 

This can be quite a scary adventure for some, both teachers and students. But the beautiful thing about our approach is that we go on it together. We discover together, fail together, learn together, and create together. 



Tim Plummer - Acting Assistant Principal 

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